COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — One of two taxi drivers allegedly targeted by a robber in Rogers Park has a message for prospective thieves.
"Cabbies don't have a lot of money," said the driver, who asked not to be identified. "It's crazy — they think we have a lot of money. People pay with credit cards."
The 38-year-old driver is one of two cabbies allegedly robbed by Charles Boatman, who appeared in court Tuesday to face charges. There, a Cook County judge ordered Boatman held on $350,000 bond.
Prosecutors said Boatman put a knife to one of the cab driver's neck and beat the other with an empty champagne bottle before making off with their cash.
One of the cabbies said Tuesday that Boatman flagged him down on April 23rd near the intersection of Sheridan Road and Thorndale Avenue in Edgewater and said he wanted to go to the Dominick's just a few blocks away. But before the driver reached his destination, Boatman allegedly ordered him to pull over.
"When I turned around, I saw the knife," said the cabbie. "I said 'this guy's not joking,' and I jumped out of the moving cab."
The driver was not injured, but his cab crashed in to another car. The robber fled with little more than $50, said the driver.
Within days, on April 25th, Boatman allegedly targeted a second taxi driver, beating him with an empty bottle of champagne, prosecutors said. The victim sustain injuries to his head and was treated and released from the hospital.
Boatman, 38, of the 6000 block of North Kenmore Street, was arrested after a security guard at the Dominick's at 6009 N. Broadway St. allegedly identified a man in a police photo as the same one caught on camera stealing a bottle of wine, brown rice and a sandwich, according to court records.
He was also allegedly caught on camera in the taxis, prosecutors said.